By ANGELA TAN
Apart from the homes they own, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings are the main source of retirement funds for low and middle income Singaporeans.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Finance, told Parliament on Monday that the low income savers are less affected by the banks' deposit rates than the CPF rates, which are currently significantly higher than bank deposit rates.
In December 2010, the CPF Board announced that the interest rate on Retirement Account (RA) savings for 2011 will be maintained at 4 per cent.
An additional one per cent interest will continue to be paid on the first $60,000 of a member's combined balances, with up to $20,000 from the Ordinary Account (OA).
The additional interest received on the OA will go into the member's Special or Retirement Accounts to enhance his retirement savings.
Mr Tharman also said on Monday that the current levels of low interest rates reflects the 'loose global liquidity conditions'.
He noted that analysts believe this low interest rate environment could persist in view of the still weak recovery of the US and other economies.
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